October 16, 2014 / 4:20 PM / 5 years ago

Austria arrests jihadist suspect returning from Syria with young son

BERLIN (Reuters) - Austrian authorities have arrested a 33-year-old German woman of Iraqi origin who was traveling back from Syria with her 8-year-old son, on suspicion of planning an attack and having spent time with a jihadist group.

A spokeswoman for Munich state prosecutors said on Thursday the Austrians, acting on a German-issued arrest warrant, also arrested the woman’s partner, a 20-year-old German man of Turkish origin. They were traveling through Villach, close to Austria’s borders with Italy and Slovenia.

“They were arrested on Oct. 11 ... when they are extradited to Germany depends on Austrian authorities,” the spokeswoman said.

A spokeswoman for the Austrian city of Villach said the young boy was being cared for by social services, and his grandmother was expected to come from Germany to collect him.

Separately, police in Frankfurt arrested a 27-year-old German citizen, named as Soufiane K., believed to have spent a year fighting with Syria’s Nusra Front, allied with al Qaeda, according to the German Federal Prosecutor’s office.

German intelligence estimates around 450 people have left Germany to join jihadists groups in Syria, and around 150 of them have returned. Criminal investigations into some 200 suspects are underway.

Reporting by Alexandra Hudson and Thorsten Severin in Berlin and Shadia Nasralla in Vienna; Editing by Larry King

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